Are you becoming a student in the Netherlands and do you want to join a typical Dutch cultural college group than you have to join a student association!

A student association is a group of college students from different majors and schools within a certain university city. The different associations contain between the 300 and 2800 students. In total there are 48 different student associations in the 13 big university cities: Amsterdam, Delft, Den Haag, Eindhoven, Enschede, Groningen, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Tilburg, Utrecht and Wageningen.

A student Association is a typically Dutch phenomenon because the most associations were established in the 18th century and still remain the same values. At student associations students gather to drink beers, talk, organize events and develop experiences that you won’t learn in the class room. The key element of a student association is ''Students for students''. The management of an association is called the board, every year the board of such a group changes. About 8 people that are in the final stage of their studies quit their studies for one year to work for a board position of the association. This is a great opportunity for them to know how it feels to be responsible for such a big organization.

To join an association you have to participate in an introduction week or weekend (the duration of such an introduction depends on the association itself). This introduction is mandatory and either can be a fun week orweekend but can also be a little bit impressive. The associations have a long history and sometimes the association requires you to learn about this history and the different rules within the association on a rather disdainful way. Eventually the people that act disdainful all did the same thing and you will find out that it was all fiction and worth it in the end of this week.

To join an association you need to know the basics of the Dutch language. You don’t have to be fluent at it but it is important that you have the basic knowledge in order to understand the introduction week/weekend and to enjoy your time at the association with the other Dutch students. The spoken language on a student association is Dutch. 

An association is not based on making a profit. For this reason the beer prize is very low in comparison with others clubs and bars in the city. The prize for one beer is around 1 euro each. On a year basis you need to pay a fee that will probably around 100 euro.

Are you exited to join an association? Make sure you are present at the introduction week that is organized by your university. In this week you will have the opportunity to take a look at the different associations in your city and hopefully you will find out which association fits you best.